Category Archives: Creative Arts Today

Assignment 3: Final revisions of essay

I gave an initial response to my tutor’s feedback on assignment 3 here. I have since then spent some time reworking and re-writing elements of the essay to try and make improvements or fill in gaps that my tutor had a highlighted.

One of the main things my tutor highlighted was ‘the need to work on integrating relevant ‘theory’ with your solid analysis’. I read Walter Benjamin’s essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction some time ago, but recently read Ways of Seeing by John Berger. I found within Berger’s book (which draws heavily on many of the arguments Benjamin’s essay made), much more accessible. I also found that Berger’s arguments were relevant to the assignment, particularly the issue of the distinctness of an original and the notion of a ‘language of images’. I’ve tried to incorporate these arguments in my revised essay.

My tutor also noted that Golz work (the artist whose re-appropriation I studied in my essay), was postmodernist. I had manged to get part way through reading Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Butler, so I carried on reading, and discovered that Golz work was a good example of postmodernism in it’s obsession with using elements from art of the past, and in it’s bid to force viewers or audiences to question art by taking elements of past movements and re-working them. Golz work also has a feminist slant to, and I found Berger and Butler both useful in explaining her effort to address the representation of women in society at the time of Vermeer and in today’s postmodernist society. I’m aware that I still don’t have a comprehensive understanding of Postmodernism but I feel like at least I’ve tried to grasp some key concepts and refer to them in a way that’s appropriate to the subject of the essay.

My tutor also noted that Golz had drawn on elements in her re-appropriation that were similar to elements seen in typical Vermeer paintings, again this highlighted to me the need for further research. I found a book in my library dedicated to Vermeer; A view of Delft Vermeer then and now, by Anthony Bailey, which me to uncover how The Girl with The Pearl Earring would’ve been seen by an audience at the time. I used this to help improve my semiotic analysis of the original. Which leads to my final point of improvement – I was encouraged to be more deliberate in my semiotic analysis, so I decided to make that the initial starting point of my re-written essay, beginning with the denotation and then moving on to the connotation of the original.

I think (at least hope), these changes and further research have made my essay much more informed. I’ve certainly tried to incorporate wider themes, refer to key course textbooks in the revised essay.

Assignment 4: Final revisions of essay

I wrote previously about revisions to my essay for assignment four here.  Now a few months after originally revising the essay I allowed a bit of time to re-read my tutor’s original feedback and my revised essay. Reading the essay back I felt that my writing was a little too apologetic, I was skirting around the arguments I really wanted to make rather than actually saying ‘this is my opinion’ and providing the evidence to back that up.

I’d also taken some time to read ‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger and found this provided some interesting observations on Photography which I tried to reference in the essay. Essentially my re-vision of the essay focused on making arguments more succinct, writing a an introduction with clearer initial arguments and making a bolder conclusion. In my first version I hadn’t wanted to make a clear case as to whether or not I considered the photographing of Goldsworthy to be the work itself. I decided that I did feel that his work was in fact heavily wrapped up in the use of photography to the extent that it really becomes part of his work, although not the entirety of it. I think in my second version I managed to convey this much clearly.

It’s worth me mentioning or acknowledging that my tutor recommended reading, Landscape and Western Art by Malcolm Andrews, I looked into buying it and came to the conclusion I couldn’t afford to at the moment, sadly when I searched for it in my local library they used to have a copy but somebody stole it awhile ago (so it’s just on their records). I know the book would’ve helped me to explore why Goldsworthy’s photographs seem to sit alongside the romantic view of the landscape.

Assignment 5: Tutor Feedback & Re-writing Essay

I wanted to take some time to reflect on my response to my tutors feedback on assignment 5. I’ll try and be clear about practical changes, where I’ve added or re-written elements of the essay and worked on any other feedback my tutor gave me.

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Assignment 5: Research ~ Hampton Manor

In preparation for the assignment, throughout part five I took a few photo’s of textiles in context that I encountered in my day to day life. I’ve included these photographs with some analysis of the textiles in my physical learning log (see pictures below):

Photograph of pages from physical learning log.

Photograph of pages from physical learning log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also did the same for some of the photographs I took during my afternoon at Hampton Manor:

Examples of annotated photographs and research in physical learning log.

Examples of annotated photographs and research in physical learning log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Textiles in context: Hampton Manor

 

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Hampton Manor is a ‘country house and restaurant’ situated in the small village of Hampton on Arden, between Solihull and Birmingham. My husband used to work there and it was one of the first places that came to mind when considering an environment where textiles play a key role.

From my last visit to Hampton I remembered that textiles were used to create a sense of luxury and welcome, there were velvet upholstered chairs, silk or satin curtains and bold patterns covering cushions. I asked the current Head of the House, Joshua Oakes, if it was possible to visit to  take some photographs and ask questions about their use of textiles. I was kindly allowed to spend an afternoon photographing not only the guest rooms (there are fifteen in total), Peel’s Restaurant, their afternoon tea room and lobby area.

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As I went around the Manor, and in the course of my questioning, it became clear Hampton Manor was undergoing a change in terms of it’s aesthetic. It was interesting to discover how important textiles are in creating an new aesthetic and environment which sought to celebrate The Arts and Crafts Movement. In this assignment I want to explore their transition from one aesthetic to another, and touch upon how they are using textiles to reflect values from The Arts and Crafts Movement. I think that the shift towards a ‘hand-crafted’ look within Hampton is part of a general trend against what Guardian Journalist Justin McGuirk called, ” a culture surfeit of branding and cheap mass-produced goods” the end is result is that we, “romanticise the hand made because we yearn for quality not quantity”. McGurik’s article makes the claim that the mass population will not be able to afford the cost of paying for higher quality goods, “we’ll be seeing more crafted industrial goods coming our way, as we lust after craftsmanship we can’t afford and disdain the industrial products we can”. If this is the case, then the luxury sector, and I consider Hampton Manor to be a part of this, may well be the area to champion goods created by a new wave of designer-makers.

I took a truck load of photographs whilst at Hampton, and I’ll include them all in this post purely so it’s clear that I took plenty of primary research before then selecting which were appropriate for the assignment essay…

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Project 4: Exercise 1 ~ Analysing a fashion image

I was initially unsure of how to approach this exercise so I chose a few different fashion images, printed them out and annotated them in my physical learning log. Doing this helped me to decide which image to analyse in more detail for this exercise. I took some photo’s of the annotated fashion images I’ve stuck in my physical learning log, see below:

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